Thursday, March 29, 2012

Tracking Kids to School

Image credit: William Murphy
Skipping school… a lot of children are doing it. You may have even caught your child once or maybe have the memories of when you skipped. But do you really know how often your child has skipped? Several people believe that a pattern of skipping school is often the first sign that a teen is giving up on their education. Current laws demand that parents are notified of school absences, impose fines or even jail for parents of children who skip often. Although when a child has their mind set on skipping they will find a way to hide it from their parents. A city in Brazil may have the ultimate tool to help relieve a parent’s worry of their child skipping. In a Brazilian city, Vitoria da Conquista, 20,000 grade school students are wearing uniforms embedded with radio frequency sensor (RFID) microchips as part of their dress code. RFID is the use of a wireless non-contact system that uses radio-frequency electromagnetic fields to transfer data from a tag attached to an object, for the purposes of automatic identification and tracking. This device is similar to the ones used for pet trackers. The microchip is embedded either under the school’s coat of arms or in one of the sleeves. The chip provides data to a central computer programmed to send updates to parents about their child’s whereabouts thru text messaging. After 20 minutes of a no-show, parents will receive an alert that their child still has not arrived yet. The city officials hope that all their public school students will use the high-tech shirts in 2013.

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